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Milford Sound is the best known of New Zealand’s fjords. Relatively easy access through the Murchison Mountains makes for a memorable ride and delivers you to a spectacular fjord that reaches several miles to the Tasman Sea. Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound are the two fjords that are accessible along the western coast of New Zealand’s South Island. In both cases there is no north-south road in or out of the sounds (actually fjords or in New Zealand fiords). In visiting Milford you drive from Queenstown (where most people stay) through Te Anau (where some people stay) and into the Fiordland National Park (3 million acres+). The road is a glacial geology lesson with hanging valleys, glaciers, braided streams, and lots of sheer rock walls.
The image at the top of the page show the Eglinton Valley, an old glacially carved pathway in the mountains now filled with, mountain rubble, stone, sands, and silts. It has a layer of soil deep enough to grow grasses and its contrast with the forested mountainside is simply breathtaking. The lower picture (above) is Mirror Lake where standing water, New Zealand flax (Phorium), and the surrounding mountains offer unending photographic opportunities.